Today I’ve read a couple of articles that stirred my brain in a particular direction regarding the village centre.
The first was a New Statesman article about the fairly bleak reality of the pub industry. http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/03/pub-tied-rent-dodds-beer
One of the links from the that article is to the Peoples Pub Partnership, a co-operative pub chain. Sadly on the Peoples Pub Partnership website there’s scant detail about what it means for pubs, communities etc.
The second article was around The Portas Review (run by High Street Guru Mary Portas) is asking for a number of locations to bid to become part of their pilot scheme. Mary Portas’ 28 recommendations: http://www.maryportas.com/news/2011/12/12/my-28-recommendations/
We’ve currently a lovely, if caged, Village Centre. I understand the fences are to come down soon. I know for the last few residents association meetings we’ve discussed the kinds of shops we’d like to see in the units alongside the BVT office opposite Bournville House. I’m also aware we’ve discussed the
pub/restaurant nursery a few times.
On Friday evening I was chatting to my taxi driver about the village and the development. When I told him where I wanted driving he said “Ah, the posh end of Telford”. He was joking with me and we talked about the village centre and some of the ideas that have been knocking around for a few years. He took the phone number of the estate agent and said he’d really like to open a convenience store and a takeaway in the largest shop unit. I don’t know if anything will come of that conversation, there’s a little part of me that hopes it will. It’d be great to see some positive movement and life injected into the village centre.
What I was hoping from this blog post was that we could get some conversation going around what will make people want to use the village centre. What will make for a vibrant village centre? What kinds of usage do you want for the units? (I know BVT & the Joint Venture have ideas and criteria but am interested in villagers ideas)